July is Nelson Mandela month, a significant reminder and call to action for people to live the spirit of Ubuntu and give selflessly to the less fortunate in their communities. As the country fights against COVID-19, food security has become a high priority for everyone. It is in the hands of every individual to ensure we leave no person impoverished.
Young people have united in the name of humanity to improve their communities. A group of six young individuals hailing from KwaZulu-Natal’s third-largest city, Newcastle are playing their part through the Black Child Foundation; a non-profit organisation, which seeks to create a conducive environment for community development. The foundation was founded in 2017, with the aim of uplifting the community of Newcastle and surrounding areas, in Northern Natal.
In a conversation with Brand South Africa, the Black Child Foundation team shares why they started the non-profit organisation.
“We came together because we felt the need to engage with our youth on issues that affect them on a daily. Not only that, but to make sure we assist families and homes that are child-headed as well as elderly citizens with necessary resources”, explains Thamsanqa Ngubeni.
“We know that we can’t help everyone, but we hope the best we can do will go a long way. We are creating a circle of givers, hoping that when one person is assisted, they can be able to pay that good deed forward. We empower our community to be great and to do great things with their lives,” adds Charmaine Mazibuko.
Conversations in the year 2020 can’t be concluded without the words coronavirus and pandemic and the impact it has caused in many communities. As a foundation, “we have tried to do our bit in trying to curb the scourge of poverty that some are experiencing in our communities. We have donated over 120 grocery packs in our area so far. We have been very fortunate in getting assistance from businesses, professionals and individuals alike.”
Brand South Africa echoes the importance of collaboration amongst civil society, business and government to help contribute to eliminating poverty and reducing inequality by 2030. The likes of Black Child Foundation are playing their part to honour the ethos of Mandela day.
Key programmes of the Black Child Foundation include:
- COMMUNITY OUTREACH PROJECTS: Keep Newcastle Clean Campaign – We gather the community and a few primary schools to come together and pick up all litter in different areas. The reason we particularly invite Primary School children is to teach them the importance of being responsible for keeping their environment clean.
“We have previously partnered with Orange Grove Dairy and gathered the community of Section 3 in Madadeni, and gave away Amasi and yoghurt to residents who were in need,” shares Mr Ngubeni.
- BREAK THE SILENCE MARCH: This programme is aimed at raising awareness and educating children and adults about physical and psychological abuse, and how we can try to curb the scourge of abuse cases reported in our communities. We relentlessly try to create safe environments for all people living in our different communities in Newcastle.
“To be honest, nothing is easy about what we do. It can be emotionally and mentally draining, especially when you come across a really heart-breaking situation. But we always believe the work must be done. Government alone can’t do it, so we also become that bridge of assistance to our communities”, further shares Mr Ngubeni.
- SPORT/HEALTH PROGRAMME: We have healthy lifestyle projects; which includes one of our biggest events of the year, the KASI2KASI Colour RUN event, which happens annually in June. This is where we gather all communities in Newcastle and high schools to be a part of this initiative, we encourage healthy living and active lifestyle. The day ends up with aerobics exercises and 6-aside soccer matches. This event draws over 1500 people and keeps growing each year.
- AWARENESS PROGRAMMES: We host open dialogues in our communities, with young women, teaching them about self-confidence, and guiding them through relationship stages.
- HIGH SCHOOL DRIVE INITIATIVE: We go to different high schools in the Amajuba district to promote entrepreneurship by teaching leaners how to start their own businesses and sustain good relationships.
Brand South Africa through its Play Your Part programme commends the Black Child Foundation for rolling up their sleeves, for being active citizens and living the legacy afforded to us by Nelson Mandela and the class of 1976.
“We call ourselves ‘foot soldiers’ because we go out and we engage with the people, constantly. You need to know what people need, that would prevent protests, because you will be readily attending to people. It’s of course all a working progress for all of us. We all need each other, the one can’t work without the other”, concludes Ms Mazibuko
All programmes and work done can be seen on the Black Child Foundation Facebook Page.
To find out how you can donate, collaborate with the Black Child Foundation:
Call: 076 978 9614 / 061 402 8161